A YouGov poll in the Sunday Times has voting intentions with changes from their last poll of CON 45% (+2), LAB 32% (nc), LDEM 14% (nc).

The 13 point Conservative lead is the largest YouGov have ever given them, and matches that recorded by ComRes (who tend to produce larger Tory leads than other pollsters) last month. 45% is their highest level of support since 1992 and the highest for any party since MORI started filtering by likelihood to vote, removing some of the towering Labour leads they used to report as their topline figures. On a uniform swing it would produce a Conservative majority of almost 100.

If the trends in this poll are repeated elsewhere then it would suggest the Conservatives have advanced beyond the 40% or so level they’ve been at for the last few weeks. Meanwhile the Labour party remain at 32% – the same level of support as they recorded in the previous two YouGov polls – despite the immediate air of crisis around the government fading. To say the least, this is not going to help morale within the Labour party.

The Liberal Democrats too are static on 14%. YouGov always tend to show the lowest level of support for them, and much lower than ICM, but across the board the polls suggest the recovery they experienced after Ming Campbell’s resignation has stalled. Next week will see Nick Clegg or Chris Huhne elected as their new leader and Liberal Democrat supporters will be hoping that the attendent coverage boosts their profile and support.


136 Responses to “YouGov give Tories a commanding lead”

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  1. Fluffy –
    If thewre’s any chance of Brown losing in 2009, the election will be 2010. Same as the Tory uears included two four-year terms, followed by a five year term leading to an election they didn’t think they could win until the soap-box came out, and a final five-year term which ended with an election they couldn’t possibly have won even if they’d been able to solve Middle-East, Ireland and give us all a tax cut at the same time!

  2. Which in effect means three budgets and two Queen’s speeches.

  3. As a conservative,I think alot of you are either naive or young.Saying we will get 50% of the vote and the election is in the bag is nothing short of stupid and should be heeded against.

    Also alot of you where saying that Yougov underestimates our vote and overcook the Labour one.One poll in our favour and they are back in vogue.If David needs any spin doctors,he has them aplenty to pick from on here.

    I would also note that many on here were questioning Daves and Georges ability to win the next election not too long ago.

    Just like your opinions on Conservative politicians voters can change their minds and all this triuphalism is really too early.

    I hope most of you do not end up with egg on your faces from the very few non-conservatives who post here.

  4. Nick Keene,

    At no point that I can recall have I ever claimed that a Tory revival in Scotland isn’t possible. What I have been clear on and still maintain is that there is currently no evidence to support it.

    Mike’s 12 seat prediction (1 +11 gains) was based on a poll that showed the Tories ont 43% (+11%) and ahead of Labour.

    However that poll showed the Tories in Scotland on only 18%, with both Labour and the SNP in the low 30’s. To suggest that the Tories could under FPTP get 20% of the seats with 18% of the vote just didn’t stack up, particularly when you looked at the actual votes in each of his 11 target seats.

    However, I did say that they might get 3 or 4.

    What has happened since is that he has repeated the claim because the Tories are now at 45% (+13%), but the poll that gives that figure apparently has the Tories in Scotland falling to 16%, and if they can’t get 12 seats on 18%, they won’t get it on 16%.

    Could there be a Tory revival in Scotland ? Yes.

    Is there any evidence to suggest that one is developing ? No.

    Peter.

  5. Interesting article on pb.com cross-posting from here the “Brown named leader” polls from early in the year saying ‘they were right all along’, which is something I posted here about a month ago. So obviously I agree with Smithson’s proposition.

    I am not any more convinced we’re seeing huge volatility this year, instead there’s a much simpler explanation: That Cameron’s Conservatives have been ahead of Brown’s Labour consistently now for two years since Dec 2005 (basically Cameron’s election), but there was a temporary Brown bounce while parliament was in recess after Brown took over this summer.

  6. It’s all very well to criticise the Lib Dems for putting out “dodgy” bar charts – though I’ve never yet seen one that didn’t accurately depict exactly what it claimed to depict – but surely all the moaning amounts to is an admission that, far from being unpopular and awful, when people are persuaded that Liberal Democrats CAN win a seat, they come out of the woodwork in large numbers and vote for them.

  7. CLLR PETER CAIRNS :-

    I admire your standing up for your party and in actual fact i admire what your party has achieved votes wise in Scotland over the years – not that i agree with your parties policies .

    Peter – the SNP for all they are doing well , and they will continue to do so at the expense of Labour (because the SNP are the socialist alternative to Labour in Scotland) – i cannot stress enough that you cannot be complacent and ignore the Tories in Scotland – they were once the biggest party there many moons ago – the Liberals are weak and cannot form a government of any kind – it just takes a shift across from them alone to let the Tories into at least 11 marginal Scottish constituencies / when i say marginal , it really is a 3 or 4 horse race in all of them .

  8. John tt. My point is this.

    2007/8 is tied up, so constitutional reform will not occur in this session. The chances of at least one of the three “anchors” weighing-down the legislation is great. [Lord ‘Flatmate’ Falconer has just announced his opposition to further detention-without-charge.]

    2008/9 is the last full session that any constitutional reform can occur if a referendum [sic] is to be held for the public to approve. Will probably tie-up the majority of the session, and we are assuming the public is in the mood to support it!

    2009/10 will be – at best – a low-key session in the run-up to the next election (which must be held by June 2010).

    This is a simple analysis of the next few-years which ignores all the slip-ups of the past few months. One other object in the mine-field is potential criminal activity against the governing-party. Whether such actions occur or not, the outcome will damage the publics’ perception of Labour’s trustworthiness.

    So, John, if you were Rusty Brown would you risk constitutional reform this side of an election? With no mandate and all…?

  9. If the election is June 2010, I doubt whether the preceding parliamentary session will be low-key.

    I don’t like the term “Rusty Brown” as it sounds pejorative – like “Mirror” Cameron. Can we keep that out please?

  10. Yes, please can we be impartial and use a term that can be accepted by people in all parties, I think Macavity Brown will do quite nicely ;)

  11. Thank-you!

    This is really getting me in the mood for all the Festive Hostilities to come!

    See you in the New Year – thanks Anthony for an entertaining and informative site.

    John T

  12. I thought that a good supply of oxygen is always welcome in the debate of politics. That given what has our “Iron Chancellor” evolved into…?

    Or maybe I should offer something more “high-brow”. Does anyone know any references from Dostoyevshy…?

  13. My god,that Mike Richarson is an embarrasment if he is a Conservative.I hope any floaters reading this,please don’t think we are all like that,if they are,we are defintely not.

  14. Re Mike Richardson’s predictions:

    Wales:

    • Aberconwy
    • Cardiff North
    • Carmarthen West & Pembroke
    • Ceredigion

    The first three are quite likely. No chance in Ceredigion though. Vale of Glamorgan, Delyn and Vale of Clwyd are possibilities though.

    SCOTLAND – 11 Seats

    • Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine
    • Angus
    • Argyll & Bute
    • Berwickshire , Roxburgh & Selkirk
    • Dumfries & Galloway
    • Edinburgh North & Leith
    • Edinburgh South
    • Edinburgh South West
    • Ochil & South Perthshire
    • Perth & North Perthshire
    • Renfrewshire East

    Edinburgh North & Leith is an impossibility and the three seats listed below are highly unlikely to say the least. The others could all conceivably be won though some would require a lot of luck with the Tories winning on a relatively low vote share – especially Argyll & Bute. Stirling would be another possibility. A net gain of six overall would be a pretty good result for the Scottish Conservatives.

  15. Peter Cairn
    Peter old fruit where in my last mail did I mention your views? And God forbid that I should ever attempt to align myself with those of Mike Richardson. If I do then by all means someone two men in white coats to come and take me gently away.There is a world of difference between saying some of the Scottish marginals are vulnerable to a Tory revival if Labour are still this unpopular come the General Election and claiming as Mike does that these seats are likely to go Tory.
    The Tory tide to which I referred to in my previous mail is probably somewhere in the Borders by now-and since polls always underestimate the Tory vote in Scotland by about 3% then a revival may well have started. If it does it will be modest-as I said before 20-23% max but IF it happens it will be more pronounced south of the Forth than North of it.Because that’s where Tory votes are concentrated.

  16. Less sure about Mike’s predictions for Northern England but I would have thought that Manchester Withington and Sheffield Hallam are impossibilities.

  17. Peter (or Cllr Cairns, if you prefer!):

    I agree with your assessment about the electorate’s desire for change, north and south of the border. Brown is well aware of it too – he mentioned change often enough during his conference speech. My point is that voters in Scotland have identified a different vehicle for change from voters in England.

    I also agree that there isn’t any evidence of a Tory revival in Scotland. And while I wouldn’t rule one out either, I can’t see where one would come from. I can’t see why Scots voters would get behind the Tories in the numbers required to deliver a recovery to 1992 levels.

    As the UK polls swing back from Labour to Conservative, the Scottish polls haven’t – if they had, we’d be seeing the Tories on 26% of the vote. Indeed, in the Scottish subset of Yougov UK polls, the Tories are doing less well than they were in the first half of this year (all the usual caveats apply, obviously).

    I see more chance of Scots voters swinging back behind Brown in a close fought election to keep out the Tories, than swinging behind the Tories to hurt Labour. Hopefully they will continue to swing behind the SNP as we win their confidence from running the country!

    Philip:

    I think you’ve picked a couple of seats in Scotland that the Tories would be smart to target, but in both the local MPs are quite popular and hardworking and will have had 4 years to dig in under the new boundaries.

    Mike Richardson:

    If the Tories win 11 new seats in Scotland at the next UK election, that would put them on 12 – their highest total since the 1983 election! In that time we’ve had the Miners Strike, the Poll Tax, the constitutional convention, a Togone from 72 to 49 constituencies, making beating Labour in any seat that bit harder. 1 gain would be progress for the Tories – doubling the current total. 11 would be a miracle!

    Or a catastrophe, depending on one’s viewpoint ;-)

  18. Manchester Withington is impossible, but Sheffield Hallam isn’t, it was a Tory seat from 1885-1997

  19. The Conservative Party in Hallam is moribund , their last councillor in the constituency will bite the dust next May and they haven’t got round to selecting a PPC – perhaps they have given up the ghost and are leaving this seat to UKIP .

  20. Firstly Polls indicate where we are now not where we will all be when there is an election. Which will not be until this country is in much the same state as it was in 79.

    Secondly Cameron is not responsible for a 13% lead The governments criminal incompetence is. Which indicates that during an election campaign when Cameron will still look sharp youthful and fresh. Brown will look even worse then he does now. Which is bad enough already.

    To me the above is plane as a whole army of noses on 20 foot tall faces.

    What Scotland does therefore is very largely irrelevant. As whatever happens the Scottish people will give Labour the shafting it most surely deserves. Scotland is the place New Labour socialism promised the most prosperity and delivered the most poverty. A fact that I am sure the SNP The Conservatives and The Lib/Dems will waste no energy reminding the Scottish people about daily when it matters.

    Mick Richardson; Remember that although the SNP talks like a socialist party a majority of its voters are not really socialists at all. They are simply Scottish or even sometimes British nationalists. That distrust and despise socialism every bit as much as we both do. So if the SNP ever did obtain independence the party would split in two. A fact that the SNP leadership I know are very well aware of.

    The Conservative Party does not really need Scotland anymore. Which is just as well because they are very unlikely to get much of it.

  21. Sometimes more than one embaressment comes though per day for the government – that messes my projected 900 gaffs (1 per day till the next election i predicted)

    3 Today :-

    * Amnesty for 165,000 asylum seekers

    * 3 million “L” Drivers details lost in the USA of all places

    * 100,000 Brits lose out to migrant workers

    How will this latest loss of info affect their POLL ratings

  22. If the Tories are on 45% in the whole of the UK, but only about 12% in Scotland and about 20% in Wales, then they must be very close to 50% in England itself, which is pretty amazing.

  23. Nick Keene,

    Although you didn’t site me by name, the question is still valid, as you talked about the Tory tide moving North in to Scotland. Where is the evidence that there is any kind of Tory revival in Scotland?

    Since Feb. 2006 YouGov has put the Tories in Scotland between 14% and 19%, averaging about 16.5% just above the most recent poll.

    My contention is that people aren’t so much looking to the Tories as looking for an alternative to Labour.

    To all intents and purposes that is the Tories and no one else in England, but in Scotland that is not the case. That doesn’t mean there won’t be a Tory revival of sorts, I think 20% is possible, but for most Scots particular Labour voters who didn’t even vote Tory in the seventies the SNP are a more likely option.

    In addition even for core Tory voters in most Scottish seats switching to the SNP is a far more likely way to beat a sitting labour MP that voting Tory.

    Oh and most Tories only live South of Perth because most Scots live South of Perth, over 80% of the population at the last count…..

    Peter.

  24. I’ve said this time and time again- Anne Smith will not lose her seat in Dore- she is very well known and has survived election twice now, in 2004 coming first place in the whole-council elections by a long way.

  25. As a Labour supporter it’s good to see there are a few reasonably objective Tories posting here but disapponting that so few Labour supporters of any sort seem to post. Trying to be objective I’d simply reiterate that in political terms the next election is very distant and anything could happen. I’d just say to some of the more outspoken Tories posting here that if you talk to the undecided (any they are the people who win or lose elections) there’s no great upswing of deep-seated support for Cameron who seems to be regarded (quite rightly) as a smoothy PR man. The Labour party isn’t going to relinquish power without a fight and the old sentimentalism which in the past made the Party reluctant to ditch failing leaders has gone. If Brown is still perceived as a failure next autumn the knives will be out and there’ll be a new broom. As a final thought I’m sorry to see Vince Cable disappear as I thought he was very good value and the antidote to one or two of those ageists out there who slagged off Ming so relentlesly.

  26. Andy Stidwell: Agreed entirely.

    I agree with Peter, no serious analysis or polling is putting the Conservatives in a position to be making sweeping gains north of the border. Fact is though: We don’t need to. The Tories can win in England alone, it is Labour that would really struggle to do so.

    We are so far behind in Scotland that gained votes are likely to be wasted votes, to reach the tipping point that we’re gaining lots of seats under the current situation in Scotland then we’d already be well past the tipping point that we’ve won England.

    Wales provides brighter prospects, but come June 2010 I’ll be hoping for a Conservative Commons majority made up of realistically-speaking English MPs with hopefully the SNP depriving the new Labour opposition of their Scottish platform too.

    Given that Scotland makes up less than 10% of the UK there’s no reason the Conservatives can’t win a majority without it.

    A Conservative Commons majority is far from guaranteed but its more likely than making lots of Scottish gains.

  27. David Bowtell

    If David Cameron is seen as you describe then surly that makes Labours position in the polls even worse.

    I am trying to be unpartizan in claiming the Tories will get elected by a landslide.

    however if you what real partisan read on.

    There is no other way of looking at a 13% lead when the leader of your party has not even got started yet. Gordon Brown and his party on the other hand have had 10 whole years and buggered up a country that in 1997, to quote a famous Tory leader of the fifties.

    “Had never had it so good.”

    What is even more serious for the survival of your party as a future governing force, believe me or your parties propaganda channel the BBC or not, it will make no difference in the end.

    The chickens have only just started to come home.

    Wait until they have make nest on the sitting room carpet and have their feet on just about every hard working voters table, and by then you will just be praying to come in second.

  28. The news that 166,500 illegal immigrants are likely to be allowed leave-to-stay could add to Labour’s woes. The cynical could suggest that it is an attempt to hold-on to another 20-odd marginals.

    I feel that this is a shame. There is nothing wrong with migration per se. What is wrong is blatant gerrymandering – as many of these illegals will work in-or-around the public-sector – and will “thank” Labour for “letting them get away with it”. [This is an accelerating theme to non-trivial breeches of the law under our current administration.] Why can politicians not treat migration as a bi-partisan control on socio-economic requirements?

    The right of these people to stay in the UK will not change my views on migration, nor the way one votes. Those who lose out may not show so much compassion. One does dispare with the calibre of our political masters….

  29. Peter Cairns
    I see I need to be more precise.Firstly any swing to the Tories across Scotland will obviously not be uniform. Secondly by south of the Forth I clearly don’t mean Glasgow or any of the central belt urban conurbations outside Edinburgh.3 of the 4 first past the post seats held by the Tories at Holyrood are located in the area I am referring to-and I could almost add to that Ayr in the South West. Now if my aging memory serves me well and apologies if it does’nt- as I type this with a heavy cold- back in 1999 the Tories had no first past the post in these or any other area in Scotland but despite no increase in their overall Scottish vote in national or local contests held since 1997/9 and indeed no discernable revival at UK level until relatively recently they have nevertheless clawed their way back to win 4 seats.
    What does this tell you? I think that it should tell you that in those seats formerly Tory but where the Tory organisation managed to hold together through the bad times and even reinvigorate themselves they can in a climate which is after all far more favourable to their fortunes than for 16 years mount a sustained challenge.
    As for Perth in 2005 with no wind in their sails the Tories still managed to cut the SNP majority down to 1500 from 5000. If the SNP want to campaign in this seat on the basis that it is safe I am sure that will make the local Tories very happy. Pride often comes before a fall Peter!

  30. While there are many voices here saying that the Conservatives do not need to make inroads in Scotland to win an election (which is true), they do need seats in Scotland and Wales if they are to regain credibility as a truly national party, and strengthen their Unionist credentials.

    Also, Cllr Cairns suggests that many Tory voters in Scotland are dissatisfied Labour supporters. While this may be happening, I think that the SNP have been the real beneficiaries of the revolt against entrenched Scottish Labour. It is this revolt, more than an upsurge in Independence sentiment, which has propelled the SNP to power.

  31. Just to throw in an interesting scenario – lets say Cameron wins the next election with a slim majority and he depends on a small number of Scottish and Welsh Tory seats for his majority. Would he still favour English votes for English issues….?

  32. Labour has next-to-no councillors or MPs in vast swathes of the South-East . . . which I believe has a far higher proportion of the population than Scotland does. Does that mean we’re governed by a non-national party in your logic Alasdair?

    As for your second paragraph, I think that is exactly Peter’s point. He’s saying that across the UK people are going away from Labour: In England to the Conservatives, in Scotland to the SNP.

  33. Hello. The only point I was trying to make was that it will be more difficult for the Tories to portray themselves as a credible UK-wide party without at least some seats in all of the main constituent parts of the UK (NI is slightly different with the UU). While I accept the point about Labour in the South East (although not London) – I think it is safe to say that contuing failure to win seats in Scotland will further damage the image of the Tories (and the UK), and the longer this goes on the harder it will be for the Tories to play the role of the Unionist party in Scotland.

    I’m not saying I approve, but the Tories have become something of a pariah paty in Scotland, and it is their interests to address this, not simply ingore it because they can win elsewhere.

    Cheers!

  34. Alasdair – a tactical point for the Tories might be to go the whole hog and support separation? Cameron’s got nothing to lose, and I think probably cares only about English votes. It cuts against the grain of the entire Tory history, but devolution has changed the landscape and until all the issues are fully resolved there are opportunities and threats for all the main parties.

  35. Hi Alec – It’s possible that the Tories might decide they want to go that way, and there are probably some English (and Scottish!) nationalists who would be happy to see that happen. It could definately make things harder for labour.

    So far though, Cameron has so far gone the other way and is flying the union flag, and has also rejected the concept of two separate Conservative parties.

  36. Phillip Thompson – as a Labour councillor in the South East I would like to point out for the record that there are 19 Labour MPs in the South East (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire,
    Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire,
    Surrey, East and West Sussex). It would be churlish to deny that many of these seats will be at risk if the next General Election is fought under current levels of polling, but it is a valid point that parties do need to spread their vote enough to win seats on a UK wide basis, not just build up massive majorities in safe seats/regions.

    Government has to be by consent, and that is difficult if the UK Government does not have at least a significant minority representation on a regional or national (i.e. Scotland/Wales) basis.

  37. Nick Keene,

    broadly, the point you make about the Tories doing better in areas where they’ve kept their organisation is surely correct. But, it’s not as if they didn’t try to win Perth last time – they flung plenty of resources (DVD’s, for crying out loud!) at their tragets, such as neighbouring Angus, thanks to the largesse of their tax-exile sugar-daddy, Lord Laidlaw. All this effort surely helped motivate their supporters, but it must also have helped motivate those who want to keep them out.

    I’m pretty sure no-one will be treating Perth as a safe seat! As with Dumfries & Galloway and the Border seat, the incumbent will have had 4 years to work the new boundaries, which should help. the same would apply to Tory David Mundell in the the DCT seat. So many of the big rural seats were carved up and sewn together in new ways that it was harder than usual for incumbents in 2005.

    How long before we get a poll showing how Nick Clegg’s election has played, I wonder?

  38. should have read “if the UK governing Party does not have…”

  39. As said, it’s important for the Tories to not ignore Wales and Scotland, Northern Ireand to stay loyal to their Unionist roots. I say they should spend (Cameron and co.)at least a quarter of their election campaign in Scotland and Wales, slightly more in Wales, as there’s more potential gains to be made. As for a Scottish Tory revival, Scotland’s voting patterns, being so reluctlant to vote Tory, it would have to take a Tory landslide to even gain 2 seats in Scotland in my view.

  40. So – Nick Clegg becomes the Liberals leader – this will help the Tories no end .

    As a lookilike to Cameron any exposure he gets (as long as it’s good exposure) the public will mix him up with Cameron and add to Camerons media coverage .

    Secondly – because “Calamity” Clegg is now in charge and is half the politician either Menzies or Cable was – and they have taken a bashing in the POLLS – this new guy with all his schoolboy charm will barely raise an eyelid for the electorate / i see very little movement up the POLLS for the Liberals now that they made their choice & over Xmas too.

  41. For all the ramblings above about whether the Scots will vote Tory or not at the next election and why the POLLS are showing them at 16 – 18% is irrelevant / if anyone believes that 84% of Scots are socialist is kidding themselves – the odds are that like most western countries socialism accounts for about 40 to 50% of the electorate – given that figure – there is a 20 to 30% extra moderate centre right vote still to be had in Scotland – who’s been getting it at the moment – i reckon the Liberals have conned their way into that bit & some SNP voters who are voting on passion for the SNP and not on left or right policies !!

  42. Mike,

    Maybe I’ve picked you up wrong, but you seem to be arguing from the point of view that there is some set statistical Right/Left divide in to which populations can be divided.

    Thus the Tories can (and in your view should) get at least 25% of the Scottish vote because statistically 25% should be right of centre and vote accordingly.

    I see no logical basis for this as a contention. It may be the Tories can get to that kind of figure but not because of any natural propensity for the population to distribute itself neatly by ideology.

    As far as I can see you are the only person to even have suggested that the propensity of nearly 17 out of 20 Scots to vote for someone other than the Tories means that they might be all socialists.

    On this site, I’ve on more than one occasion, pointed out the danger of any party (including my own) believing that those who vote for it actually support it.

    If we look at the US, we see a two party system where elections can be quite close, but no one realistically believes that 50% of Americans are Rednecks and 50% Pinko’s.

    What’s more most people in the UK tend to think that even those on the US left are close to what most people in the UK would term Tories.

    In that context I don’t think that it is strange to take the view that, like the North of England compared to the South or cosmopolitan London compared to the more homogenous shire around it, different parts of the UK and Scotland in particular can have a different and distinct political cultures.

    In short just as I can’t agree with translating a UK Tory lead to Scottish Tory gains, I can’t see that you can apply an untested notion of UK ideological balance directly to Scotland or indeed any other part of the UK.

    So if I may to wide this out a bit;

    ” Who thinks different parts of the UK ( including NI if that doesn’t load it too much) have distinct political cultures”?

    Peter.

  43. Alec – your scenario only has relevence if the Tories have a majority of Scottish and Welsh seats (an unlikely prospect, we may get somewhere near 10 in Wales if we win an overall majority in the UK, in Scotland probably 4 or 5 would be a fantastic result) – so 15 seats out of 110 or so in those 2 countires? If Cameron goes down the EVEL route, NONE of those 110 MPs would be able to vote, the Tories losing 15 to the “opposition”‘s 95

  44. Paul D – your quite right, but it on any UK wide issues Cameron may yet depend on Scottish & Welsh Tory MP’s. This would obviously include confidence motions.

    Slightly weird posting from Mike Richardson – coverage for Nick Clegg will “add to Cameron’s media coverage”. Really Mike – you’re 13 points up in the polls and clearly supremely confident of victory – this is no time to clutch at straws, surely?

  45. It is early days and as politics are about to be suspended for the festive season let me congratulate Nick Clegg on being elected-albeit by a very narrow margin-the new leader of the Liberal Democrats. After only two and a half years in Parliament that is quite an achievement. Plenty of people will be using up columns of newsprint telling him what he should do but my advice to him is to keep his own counsel, follow his instincts and above all don’t become a slave to opinion polls. In fact if he can take a sanguine relaxed view of it all he may even enjoy himself. And Nick has one thing going for him none of the other leaders have -his christian name of course!

  46. Nick Keene,

    “And Nick has one thing going for him none of the other leaders have -his christian name of course!”

    Yeah, You, Clegg and Lucifer…….

    Peter.

  47. I’ve just seen on the BBC website that Nick Clegg has apparently said he doesn’t believe in God.

    Just in case anyone thought the above post was some kind of religious attack at him it wasn’t, it was just a bit of fun at NK’s expense….

    Peter.

  48. Peter/Mike,

    On the subject of differing political cultures in different areas I’d say it was undeniable that Scotland had a significantly higher leftwing/socialist proportion of voters than certain other parts of the UK, say South East England. But in my wildest dreams I would never guess that 40% of any part of the UK (certainly not in the Midlands where I live) was Socialist, nevermind 80%(!).

    In fact, even among Labour voters I doubt anything like 40% are really socialists. Amongst Labour MP’s I’d hope the number would be a lot higher but it wouldn’t be 100%. It all depends on what you mean by Socialist I guess. Some people seem to think it means anybody who believes in having some sort of welfare state while for others it means you’re practically a communist.

  49. “In that context I don’t think that it is strange to take the view that, like the North of England compared to the South or cosmopolitan London compared to the more homogenous shire around it, different parts of the UK and Scotland in particular can have a different and distinct political cultures.”

    Indeed Peter, or even different political cultures within those regions. It always slightly grates on me to hear that ‘nobody in the north votes Tory’ when I live in North Yorkshire with its many towering Conservative majorities.

  50. I wonder if Clegg won the leadership battle because he had a safer seat. Would enough members voted for him, solely because of the risk of Huhne losing his seat at the next election thus causing another leadership contest, have made the difference? What do you think?

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